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Press Release

New Jersey residents arrested in Lake Charles plead guilty to possession of 4 pounds of methamphetamine packaged as Mexican candy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that two defendants from New Jersey who were arrested during a Lake Charles traffic stop pleaded guilty last week to possession of 4 pounds of methamphetamine packaged as Mexican candy.

Javier Munoz, 51, of Vineland, New Jersey, and Beljavier Rodriguez, 26, of Millville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty March 21 before U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine. According to a joint factual stipulation in the record of the guilty plea, the defendants were traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 on September 9, 2016. A Lake Charles Police officer pulled over the vehicle and later searched it. The officer found a secret compartment underneath the car that contained two bags that appeared to be professionally printed bags of Mexican candy. Within the bags were 21 individually wrapped bags containing methamphetamine that weighed a total of about 4 pounds.

Munoz faces 10 years to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a $10 million fine. Rodriguez faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court set sentencing for June 11, 2018.

Homeland Security Investigations and the Lake Charles Police Department as part of the Combined Anti-Drug Task Force conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph T. Mickel is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 28, 2018

Drug Trafficking